Scottsdale (AZ) – Despite the fact that the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray is dominating home video headlines these days, it is still the DVD that is dominating the sales charts. In-stat found that sales of DVD players retreated last year, while recorders gained.
According to the market research firm, sales of DVD player units declined from 126.4 million in 2005 to 124.8 million in 2006 ; DVD recorder sales rose from 14 million in 2005 to 16 million in the same time frame.
The combined sales volume of almost 141 million is well ahead of the sales volume of combined HD DVD / Blu-ray player sales ; there is quite some confusion in the market how many HD DVD and Blu-ray players were sold in the U.S. in 2006, but even if PS3 and Xbox 360 HD DVD sales included, that number is generally believed to have come in well below five million for all of 2006.
“Currently, there is no clear-cut winner in the HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray format war,” says Alice Zhang, an analyst with In-Stat. “In-Stat believes that the universal combination player, which plays both HD-DVD and Blu-ray technologies, will not be a sustainable solution as it exists today, as its current price is higher than the price to purchase the two players separately.”
In-stat indicated that the decline of DVD player is not just a blip, but a trend. The firm said that DVD player sales in Japan peaked in 2003, while North American and European DVD player shipments peaked in 2005. In-stat said that it expects DVD player sales to further decrease this year.